Relationships – Domestic Violence

Trigger warning – DV

Two things have led to me sitting down and writing about a topic that I don’t know much about firsthand. A few days back clips from Johnny Depp’s trial, in his defamation case against his ex-wife Amber Heard, started showing up on my YouTube. It ironically coincided with me completing reading the popular Colleen Hoover book ‘It Ends With Us’. (Ironic or just Google doing a very thorough job of sharing my information) If you don’t know about the trial or the book here is some information –

  • Johnny Depp has filed a 50M USD defamation case on Amber Heard for allegedly wrongfully claiming that Johnny Depp was violent towards her during the course of their marriage. This led to Depp losing out on movies like the Pirates franchise and others. He also faced severe personal issues within his family, with his kids because of these allegations. He has also alleged that on the contrary, Amber was violent towards him.
  • ‘It Ends With Us’ is a book that revolves around domestic violence. (I don’t want to give away the storyline.)

In 2019, my best friend was in an abusive relationship. I was living in a different city at that point. Her boyfriend happened to move to that same city, so she followed suit to live with him. I was beyond thrilled cause it was a childhood dream to move cities with my best friends and live that ‘FRIENDS’ life. I really liked her then boyfriend and enjoyed spending time with the two of them. Slowly, I started noticing frequent but small wound marks on her. She claimed she injured herself while cooking or fell out of an autorickshaw – and I didn’t think too much of it. Then one really hot summer day, we were hanging out and she had this thick shrug on, so I suggested that she take it off but she refused. Eventually, the heat got to her and she removed it, only for me to see this huge bruise on her arm. I freaked out! I forced her to tell me what was going on and eventually she told me about the abuse. I was shocked, enraged, hurt and a few other emotions. I asked her to immediately pack her bags and move to my house. But she said that it had been her fault and they were going for joint therapy and it was getting better. I dropped him an angry message later that day but he told a totally different version of what had happened and I was left totally confused. (I still yelled at him.)

A few more weeks passed without incident and then one day she showed up with a chipped tooth. Apparently, in a rage, he had pushed her onto a coffee table chipping off her front tooth. I had had enough. I told her that at no cost was she going to continue living with him and she was immediately moving in with me. She said she would but the next day as I waited for her, she dropped a message saying she wasn’t going to leave him. I just couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t leave a man who was so brutally harming her and not just physically. In all my frustration, we both ended up having a huge fight. I told her I wouldn’t be involved in her life if she wanted to keep doing this cause that would make me complicit in this crime.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

For the longest time, I have kept wondering why it was so hard for her to leave an abusive man? Was it because she couldn’t have another failed relationship or was it because everyone around her was in a relationship and she was scared of starting off again? I couldn’t understand how she could fathom a future with marriage and kids with such a man.

But reading the book and watching bits of the proceedings – I am slowly understanding why the victim finds it so difficult to leave an abusive relationship. I am not an expert on this topic but I just want to share a few tips on how to deal with a friend or loved one finding it difficult to get out of an abusive relationship, since I royally messed up.

  • Be there for them no matter how frustrating it gets.
  • Don’t rush the process. As much as you’d want them to be out of that situation, they need to get to the exit line on their own. (My best friend briefly left her boyfriend only to go back and give that relationship 2 more years and eventually break up with him.) Your support might help them get there sooner but your frustration won’t.
  • Help them find therapists and other experts who can help them more effectively.
  • Don’t judge them. I know this caused a barrier between my best friend and me. I didn’t understand the situation and judged her for being too weak to leave them.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Have you ever experienced or witnessed DV? How did you deal with it?

Please note: Domestic violence is not gender specific.

IF you haven’t already, check out my other recent posts-

27 Comments Add yours

  1. https://tamarakulish.com/ says:

    Domestic violence is such an insidious thing because before the physical blows start, the abuser grooms their victim mentality and emotionally.

    They are expert manipulators who use lies and gaslighting as part of the weaponry, so they effectively end up brainwashing their victims into believing that they deserve what they are receiving and that they are incapable of living without them.

    The abusers create such an alternate reality that it’s difficult for their victim to finally separate from them because they instill such a deep distrust of others, telling the victim more lies.

    It isn’t because people are weak that they don’t leave an abuser, they’ve been broken down emotionally and mentally, so they no longer believe they can successfully leave.

    The threats of extreme violence to them or their families if they should ever attempt to leave keep many tied to their abuser because they fear for the safety of others.

    If anyone reading these words is seeing themselves in these words, let me assure you there are many people who are able to help you, you ARE worthy of living in peace and without fear.

    You are worthy of love! You are worthy!

    Store these words in your heart of hearts, let them grow gently in your spirit and when you are ready to step forward to make changes, know that you have what it takes to make the inner and the outer journey!

    Peace be with you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Thank you for sharing this wonderful piece of advice. ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

      1. https://tamarakulish.com/ says:

        My pleasure! I used to think that people who chose to stay in abusive situations were weak, until I learned how the abuser works on controlling their victim through manipulation, lies and breaking down their sense of self so thoroughly that they can no longer see the reality because the have been influenced into thinking it’s all their fault.

        More recently I saw this happening to my daughter with a previous boyfriend. When I spoke with her about what I was seeing, she was already unhappy in the relationship and wanted to break it off. He kept asking why, then thoroughly manipulated and gaslighted her I to thinking she and I were completely wrong and he was right. She kept getting unhappier and unhappier. I knew that if I said anything more to her that he would find a way to cut me out of her life so I bided my time for her sake and the kids. He kept saying that “everything” was going to change when he moved in, and with the clues he was giving it sounded like her was going to step in with an iron fist. I’m grateful that I had another opportunity to speak with her, and she did see she was becoming unhappier by the week, getting more depressed and feeling she didn’t count. She broke it off with him and has returned back to her old self.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Happy Panda says:

        I’m so glad she managed to get out of it. She was really lucky to have you around. Unfortunately, with my lack of experience in such situations, I was not of much help to my friend. She reached the realization herself and left him. But yes, she was so manipulated by him that she couldn’t see stuff straight. He even tried manipulating me by telling me that he wanted to break up with her but telling her that he wanted to be with her and causing a rift between us. ARGH!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. https://tamarakulish.com/ says:

        Sigh, yes, unfortunately the abusers gaslight so well sometimes that the victims create these narratives in their minds to justify it all to themselves. I’m glad your friend eventually got out and would then be able to sort out her thoughts and find the way back to herself! I suppose the way you can help her is to give her affirmations and help her learn to like herself and to believe in herself so when these kinds of men come along they won’t get in the door.

        Unfortunately they often present themselves as “nice guys” so the trick is to wait a while before jumping in. They always show who they are, that’s why they love bomb to rush things along before their true nature starts to peek out and they lose their prey!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ugh, M, this is such an important topic. And omg I’m sooooooo sorry for your dear friend and I’m soooo thankful that she actually got out of it alive. I think I’ve shared a few tidbits of details about my mother’s experience with abuse that left her in the ICU with the doctors in absolute shock that she lived. It makes me sick to think about it. And even just last night, I was watching an episode of Downton Abbey in which someone was raped and I was so petrified being alone in my apartment, just from that scene. And during my meditation I thought about when I die, if I wanted to donate my money to a cause, what would it be? And there are so many, but the one I was stuck on last night was violence against women. Ugh, so much to unpack, and thank you so much for getting this conversation rolling on your platform 🥺❤️‍🩹

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      It sucks how people abuse people they apparently are in love with. 😥
      Violence against women is heartbreaking. Although I am seeing a lot of cases where wives abuse their husbands too. My sister is a lawyer and shes had a few divorce cases where the husband was a victim of domestic violence. The world needs more healing.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes absolutely it goes both ways 🌍❤️‍🩹

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Forestwood says:

        I think the stats were I live, is 30% of all domestic violence is women abusing men.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re an amazing friend! After I left an abusive relationship, it was my female friends that got me through it, on top of counselling. That’s why I went to a historically women’s university that opened its doors to the LGBTQ+ community. I needed to study without men interfering and develop some amazing friendships

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      I’m glad you had amazing friends to get you through it. I can only imagine how scary it must have been. More power to you. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. I can honestly say from reading your story that you are an amazing friend to someone who has been through that

        Liked by 1 person

  4. petespringerauthor says:

    Your friend’s story is, unfortunately, quite common. I suspect that a large percentage of abusers do so again and again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      I wish there was a solution for this. It’s so scary to have someone you love hurt you like this again and again. 💔

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Naomi Domi says:

    First off, sorry I’m late commenting – wordpress decided to stop sending me email notifications for your posts… technology. 🙄
    Second off, this was a really great post! My friend and I were actually talking about this on the walk home and how it seems, as an outsider, like it would be super easy to walk out, but it’s actually not… it would be really hard to have to go through that as a friend of the person suffering though…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      No worries! I read posts late all the time! 🙂
      Definitely. I used to think it was black and white. When an ex of mine tried hitting me once, I ended things then and there but its only now that I realize that my leaving him was already in motion and hence, I could leave that easily. But when people are so swept into relationships, it gets so hard to just pick up and leave. 😦

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Forestwood says:

    DV relationships are complex. There can be male victims of D.V. not just female. The victim’s self esteem becomes so eroded by the abuser that they feel the abuse is their fault and they deserve it and are not unworthy of better treatment. The perpetrator often threatens their life, if they dare leave. They so want to be happy but once the perpetrator has crossed the line of physical abuse, they WILL never change.
    Your post is tragic and I do help your friend gets the support she needs to leave.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      It is complex, something I didn’t realize while I was dealing with my friend and her ex (I had no experience in these situations prior to that). She did leave him finally but she had to reach that realization on her own.

      Like

      1. Forestwood says:

        Yes. It is something that they DO have to work through in their mind.

        Like

  7. You are a great friend. You did everything you could. I wonder if you are still in touch with that friend.
    A very awareness creating share, thanks.

    Like

  8. bosssybabe says:

    DV is a very complicated and nuanced situation… the victim is always groomed to believe that they are less than and therefore nothing without their partner… They also falsely learn to depend on their partners for their perceived happiness (financial happiness, emotional happiness, social happiness) and then they feel trapped… it’s tough but all in all, I’d say do everything you can to stick with them, be supportive, make sure they’re safe as much as you can and keep giving them the necessary resources … build up their self-esteem again… allow them to see the world from their own lens again… You’re a good friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      It really is complicated. It’s so difficult to glance into the victim’s mind and understand what they’re thinking. Plus the perpetrator is usually a master manipulator. So complex! But yes, that’s great advice. I wish I had done more. I was so inexperienced and totally freaked out.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. uwagood says:

    Physical abuse in a relationship is real and it’s far more common than what numerous believe. It’s also ruinous and life- altering. And most importantly – it happens in silence. It frequently remains unnoticeable to the outside world, occasionally until it’s too late to fix anything.

    Whether you or someone you know and watch about suffers from physical abuse in a relationship, it can be hard to see the signs and know what’s considered physical abuse. Then are a many illuminating data about physical abuse in connections and some physical abuse data that may help the victims in getting the right perspective and the right help.
    You can read alsohttps://uwagood.com/2022/05/04/physical-abuse-in-relationship/

    Like

  10. I am a survivor of domestic violence x3 and advocate for domestic violence victims. I’m sorry for what happened and I can surely say from experience in my case Once a Victim later a target. I’m so strong and never accepted or allowed the abuse let’s just saw it turned into a harassment case even after he did years in prisons. I had to pick up move and change my entire life just to get peace even the system couldn’t control the situation fully. He used social media as a playground. I really thank you for sharing this no one knows until you’ve been there. May God bless you and all your readers.🙏💓😊

    Liked by 1 person

  11. scuzzybiatch says:

    The first DV relationship I had stripped me of every bit of my confidence. people told me I was lucky that he loved me so much that he had to know where I was every minute!! He was charming to others, they loved him. I didn’t leave for a long time because he took first my friends – I had stopped seeing most of them because he chipped away at those relationships and made me doubt them, then my self-confidence was eroded so much that I didn’t think I could survive alone.
    Eventually I left, but it took a court order and a move to a different county to affect this change.
    The second and last DV relationship I was in, I left the very first time he hit me.
    it is hard and as you say all we can and should do for friends is be there, listen and help them to find the help they need. Most importantly to take it always at their pace

    Like

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